Quick sketch: Land settlement, Alberta, 1929. #Molly #coldcase #graphicnovel #Vancouver

Molly and her family members were all landed immigrants.  Her father, Michael, had 9 pounds 5 pence in his possession on landing at Pier 21.  The family traveled inland on the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway)[1] line, destination- the Land Settlement Branch in Edmonton Alberta.  The O’Dwyers may have received a land grant for a standard homestead land grant (likely 160 acres).  They headed to the Peace River district in Alberta.[2]  It meant “a new start, hard work, deprivation, disappointment, struggle, occasional success, family, and community.” [3]


[1] “From 1923 to 1931, the CPR constructed a total of 2,266 miles of track throughout the system and all but 145 miles of this was on the prairies. Construction of branch lines in Alberta amounted to over 600 miles of track. Had it not been for the Depression, when farm income fell to less than 20 percent of what it had been in the late 1920s, and the construction of good roads by the provincial government, northern Alberta would have had a system of railway branch lines in harmony with local requirements. During the Depression, both railways were criticized for what was considered to be severe overbuilding but in fact there was very little duplication of track.” The Canadian Pacific Railway in Western Canada, retrieved November 11, 2006 from http://railways-atlas.tapor.ualberta.ca/cocoon/atlas/Chapters-7-1/

[2] “After World War 1, the Canadian government cautiously resumed the task of filling the West with settlers.  Initial attempts at attracting primarily British migrants were fairly successful, but the vast majority of Britons immigrating to Canada at this time eventually settled in towns and not on prairie farms…  In 1925 the Canadian government signed the Railway Agreement with Canadian national railways and the Canadian Pacific Railway… Retrieved June 7, 2004 from http://collections.ic.gc.ca/albertans/continuity/int_railwayagreement.html

[3] Millar, N. (1997) Once Upon a Tomb- stories from Canadian graveyards, Calgary AB, Canada: Fifth House Ltd.

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